The Blue Chair Blog

It's not just about the novel

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Ever been on a Road Scholar tour? No, me either, but that’s how I got to Mexico when a friend came up with the idea. We spent some time on our own in Mexico City and then joined others to explore San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato. I left a piece of my heart there, where I’m still dancing the Mexican-style polka, drinking wine and margaritas, eating delicious food, and where my senses are awash with color and deep sentiment for Mexican landscape and Mexican people. I need to practice my Spanish and go back.
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More photos to come, I think, but for now I will leave you with this stunning view of Guanajuato.


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Travel photo update

My last blog post mentioned traveling to Kauai and New Mexico, but I never posted any details or photos. The details are getting a little hazy, but in the interests of continuity, here are a few photos.


I do recall spending a lot of time at beaches (especially at sunrise) and shopping the sunshine markets, and drinking coffee.

New Mexico

Flew in and out of ABQ with a friend and met up with a new friend from the New Orleans trip but we spent most of our time in and around Santa Fe. I still feel bowled over by small towns like Madrid (MAD-rid) and Cerillos, the Sanctuary at Chimayo, Taos Pueblo, and the vibrancy and inclusiveness of Santa Fe. And oh, the cottonwoods!


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A traveling fool

I have neglected the hell out of this blog while finishing the manuscript for a historical novel, attending writers’ conferences, and traveling. Especially traveling for the last few months: New Orleans, Kauai, and Santa Fe – bing bing bing. So if you want to learn about the novel in progress, please do visit Of Ships and Sealing Wax. For more about these recent travels, read on.

Believe me, I know what a privilege it is to be able to travel so often, to such interesting places, and in such good company (even when it’s just my own). Travel does not, however, get easier with age. Accordingly, my motto is “go now.”

September 2017  ~ New Orleans

It was so much fun to visit New Orleans for the first time along with a group of friends. We attended the second All Souls Con, which celebrates Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy. Love these books and the All Souls community. There’s a TV series being made right this minute, too! But, New Orleans! Beautiful, complicated, haunting, and a little bruised in places. I just loved it. It’s hard to pick a favorite photo. Here are two, Preservation Hall and a street corner in the French Quarter:


October 2017 ~ Kauai

I planned this trip as a birthday present for myself. I know, lucky me. I  was happy with my home away from home, which was a cottage at Fern Grotto Inn near Wailua. My agenda consisted of books, beaches, sunrises, writing, coffee, and slowing down. And a lot of papayas! My favorite beach this trip was probably Anini Beach. I could not choose a favorite coffee stop. Java Kai and Small Town Coffee in Kapa’a and Hā Coffee Bar in Lihue are all terrific, each in its own way. I have to shout out for Talk Story Books in Hanapepe, too. Below, a couple of lasting memories, sunrise at Wailua Beach on my first morning, writing at Hā Coffee. By the way, hā means breath or spirit, or the sacred breath of life within us all.


November 2017 ~ New Mexico

In November, folks who live in the Northwest yearn for the sun. You can find sun, color, history, and a unique kind of peace in and around Santa Fe and Albuquerque at this time of year. This trip offered up world-class museums (such as the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the New Mexico History Museum, and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque), fascinating glimpses into small towns like Madrid, Cerillos, and Chimayo, and an unforgettable visit to Taos Pueblo. Below: Cottonwood in Cerillos, el Santuaria de Chimayo.


Lots more photos from these adventures over on Instagram!


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The end of summer

img_1907It’s not quite the end of daylight savings time, but I have brought in most of the outdoor furniture and coiled up the garden hose. The blue chair is still out front in case the weather allows. In the meantime, what are you reading? For entertainment, laughter, and distraction from grim news, I’m reading all the Chet and Bernie mysteries I can get my hands on. For reflection and improved understanding of the world at large, I have been reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.


Writing takes up a lot of my time these days. For news from that neck of the woods, hop on over here.

By the way, are you registered to vote? It’s more important this year than ever.

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A visit to the 18th Century

Poor neglected Blue Chair Blog. I’ve spent the summer months revising my historical novel-in-progress. That work has it’s own website and blog. If you happen to be interested in food that might be served at fictional meals in the late Eighteenth Century, hop on over here and read up. Your visit and your comments will be very welcome!


This is still the Blue Chair Blog

My new website is Of Ships and Sealing Wax but you can still read The Blue Chair Blog!

April 10, 2016 ~ I’m getting set up to post more information about my novel in progress (preview below). My blog doesn’t get much attention at the moment, but it’s still alive. Click on Blog in the menu, or on the link above.

In the meantime, I hope you are interested in learning about Of Ships and Sealing Wax, a novel about the homeward journey of a British Naval Officer at the time of the French Revolutionary Wars. The year, to be precise, is 1795, and Captain Edward Trewin has just set foot on English soil for the first time in 18 months. The hell of it is, he has fallen out with his wife and can’t quite bring himself to go home.

You will be able to read an excerpt on the new site, hear some music of the period (or music that inspired the author) on Spotify, and see some period images on Pinterest.

You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram, or see what I’m reading on Goodreads.

All the best,


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Fire house cats

I have been neglecting the blog in favor of editing these days. Also, it is too cold to even think about sitting in the Blue Chair. Are you on Instagram? I post once in a while, but you can just follow accounts if you want. Every now and then during the day, I check my Instagram feed to take a break or make myself smile. The best part, if you ask me, is following fire house cats like Killer in Bed Stuy. Baby goats are a close second. [Updated.]

All photo credits to @station57cat on Instagram